8 Things I Wish I Knew About Dating Before I Turned 20

1. Dating is awkward.
No matter the number of first dates I have been on, I still feel some degree of awkwardness walking away from each one. Awkward, frustrating, awesome, awful. However you describe dating, I think everyone can agree that dating is unlike anything else. If I could skip those first few months of coffee dates and getting to know each other, I would.

2. You won't like everyone you go out with.
Sometimes on paper, your date will be perfect. In reality though, everything changes. He could be Ryan Gosling, but if he's a cat person and you're a dog person, you may never call him for a second date. Music tastes, favorite TV shows, and hobbies are so subjective, that the odds of you finding someone perfect every time, are pretty low.

3. Not everyone you go out with will like you.
Just as you may not like your date, there is a chance that your date may not like you. I know we never want to think that we are the reason for discourse in relationships, but if we could all accept the fact that some people just aren't meant to get along, you wouldn't have to wonder why he never called you back. Some personalities just aren't meant to work together and that's okay.

4. Rejection is common.
There will always be guys with egos, guys who don't appreciate your beauty and guys who are too scared to make a move. Sometimes there are guys who just don't want to date or aren't ready for a girlfriend and that is okay. As lame as it is, there really are plenty of fish in the sea. Don't let one rejection get you down for too long. After all, there's nothing a pint of Phish Food can't fix.

5. You will have your heart broken in many different ways.
I don't believe that all heart breaks are the same. Heart break can come out of your first love, being stood up or even from a guy who just doesn't know how to be a good guy. The upside though, is that each time you get let down, you get stronger. You learn from past relationships and in the end, you'll be a better person because of it.

6. Dating apps aren't all bad.
For as much crap as Tinder gets, not everyone you meet on the app is going to turn out to be the Craigslist Killer. You will meet duds. You will meet the guys with the bad pick-up lines. You will meet the guys who actually want to take you out. The possibilities for awkwardness are endless but so are the possibilities that you could find someone worth spending your time with. Don't knock it till you try it.

7. You will struggle between wanting your freedom and having someone to spoon with every night.
Going out with your girl friends is necessary whether you're single or not. (Never underestimate a GNO.) While single, these nights are great because you can drunkenly kiss a stranger, dance with someone new or give your number out to the hot guy at the bar.
As great as all this is though, sometimes it means going home alone. Sometimes after crazy, single-life nights, all you want is someone to hold you -- Someone you can fall asleep with. There's a constant back and forth between finding someone you can spend your Saturday nights with or finding someone you can spend all day Sunday with.

8. Alone time is OK.
While dating is great, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. Not my quote, but it is something I come back to every time I get lonely. Nights spent with Netflix, a good book or your diary are just as important as nights being social with frat boys. You have to understand that figuring out who you are is even more vital than finding someone to tell your life story to.